09/15/2005 6:20 AM - The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks took another step towards their third Northern Division championship on Wednesday night.
Richard Austins homer in the sixth completed a RedHawks comeback in a 5-4 victory over the Gary SouthShore RailCats at Newman Outdoor Field.
With the win, Fargo-Moorhead took a 2-0 lead in the best of five championship series. The RedHawks can clinch their 2nd title in the last three years with a victory in Game 3 on Friday night in Gary.
The RailCats jumped out, 2-0 in the top of the 3rd with a two-out rally. Anthony Iapoce doubled and came around on Fehlandt Lentinis triple. Steve Haake then followed with a double to score Lentini. Fargo-Moorhead cut that lead in half in the bottom of the 3rd on an rbi single by Bryon Jeffcoat.
Gary increased its advantage to 4-1 on a two-run homer by Ben Risinger in the 5th, his 2nd long ball of the playoffs. The RailCats 1st baseman leads all players with nine rbi in the playoffs and is batting .462 (12-26) in seven games.
But Fargo-Moorhead jumped on Gary starter Jamie Bennett in the bottom of the 5th. Clyde Williams (PICTURED AT RIGHT) had a leadoff double, Brent Krause followed with a single and both runners scored when Brian Ward doubled. After a Joe Mathis ground out advanced Ward to 3rd, the RailCats 2nd baseman scored on Jeffcoats sacrifice fly to tie the game.
Richard Austin then followed with a long home run to right, giving Fargo-Moorhead its 1st lead and knocking Bennett from the game.
The RailCats threatened in the 8th, putting runners at 1st and 2nd with one out before Tanner Townsend and Jay Pecci fanned to end the inning.
Bennett, the 1st Gary pitcher to record ten wins, allowed six hits and five runs in 4.2 innings. Travis Kerber followed with 2.1 shutout innings. Fargo loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the 8th, but Derek Lopez retired the next three batters to keep it a one-run game.
Taft Cable permitted eight hits and four runs in 6.1 innings with two walks and eight strikeouts to go to 2-0 in the playoffs. Doug Young worked 1.1 scoreless innings with Brian Adams recording the final four outs for his 1st save of the playoffs.
The top two batters in the Gary order were 5-10 with Iapoce going 3-5 and Lentini producing a pair of hits. Austin was the only RedHawk player with two hits
Fargo-Moorhead won its 20th straight game at Newman Outdoor Field, including the playoffs, and finished with a 43-9 overall record in that park in 2005.
2005 NORTHERN LEAGUE CHAMIPONSHIP SERIES RESULTS AND SCHEDULE (All Times Central)
Fargo-Moorhead Leads, 2-0
Game Date Schedule/Probables Time
1 Tuesday, Sept. 13 at Fargo-Moorhead 5, Gary 1
2 Wednesday, Sept. 14 at Fargo-Moorhead 5, Gary 4
Thursday, Sept. 15 Travel Day
3 Friday, Sept. 16 Fargo-Moorhead (Joe Sergent) at Gary(Cody Fisher) 7:00 p.m.
4* Saturday, Sept. 17 Fargo-Moorhead (Todd George) at Gary (Willie Glen) 6:00 p.m.
5* Sunday, Sept. 18 Fargo-Moorhead at Gary 2:00 p.m.